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About to give up on breastfeeding

  1. #1
    Gataloca's Avatar
    Gataloca is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2010

    About to give up on breastfeeding

    My baby is 2 weeks old now. When we came from the hospital (Union Hospital l) we were combined feeding him. Later, when I had a better supply of milk, I tried breastfeeding exclusively ...

    First, I followed some people advice about not waking up a sleeping baby.. Therefore I just let him sleep.. he would go to sleep for 6 hours or more, which I usually end up waking him anyway.... then I would give him breast for like 2 hours.. he would still feel hungry, and I would top him with formula. Then I realized that probably should not let the baby sleep that long, so I followed the hospital schedule, and was waking him every 4 hours for his feed. Then I could breastfeed most of the time without topping up... However, it would take something from 25 minutes to 2 hours for him to feel full.

    In occasion (like today), he would fall asleep on my breast. I usually change his diaper after this, so to wake him up and make sure he does not show more sign of being hungry before putting him to sleep. If he is still hungry, I would put him on my breast for sometime more before putting him to sleep. Well.. today he just couldn't set up to sleep. I put him on his bed, and after a while he was crying... I gave him the pacifier to make sure it was not just sucking needs, but after a while, he was still crying and couldn't sleep. After a hour trying to call him, I gave up and gave him my breast. He sucked for like 40 minutes both sides before calming down. I then tried putting him to sleep again, when he started crying again for milk! I couldn't believe it! after a while it was almost time for his next feed, so I just made him a bottle with formula (since I should be out of milk from my breast anyway) and he feed on a full 90 ml (3 ounces) milk!

    Breastfeeding is so tiring! I am so stressed out!... the worse part is that i don't know how much milk my baby has taken, and if he is hungry or not...nor I know how much milk I have...... Formula feeding is so much easier!

    ...Am I doing anything wrong? any advice is appreciated.
    Last edited by Gataloca; 07-27-2010 at 04:12 PM.

  2. #2
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
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    Oct 2007
    North Point
    I'm not an expert but it sounds like you're really overthinking it all. If the baby's hungry, he'll wake up and eat. Babies don't starve themselves. And just because he will have some formula after breastfeeding doesn't mean that he's not getting enough from the breast.

    I think that if you do want to breastfeed, just relax. When baby is hungry then baby will eat. Just make sure that he's still peeing regularly and pooping (although sometimes breastfed babies can go for a couple of days without pooping, that's normal).

    Breastfeeding is hard work the first month - I think probably in ANY situation, it can be demanding and tiring and all that - but really, once both you and the baby get used to it, it is MUCH MUCH easier and more convenient than formula - particularly for the night feeds! No need to sterilise bottles, no need to make up the formula... it's always ready, always the right temperature... but realistically it does take a bit of time to get used to it. Formula probably SEEMS easier right now, but in the long run, it's actually not easier (and also it's not as healthy for the baby either).

    I'm not a breastfeeding zealot who believes that everyone should breastfeed and you're a horrible mother if you don't - but I do think that people need to be aware that it does take time and perseverance to start breastfeeding, but the long term results are worth the initial effort. You sound like you're a great mum who just wants to do the right thing by your baby - but you seem to be listening to every piece of advice which is coming from all different people, and even conflicting... Just ignore it and listen to your own mothering instincts and you'll be a great mum regardless of what you decide here :) Just relax and enjoy your new bub!!

  3. #3
    jvn is offline Registered User
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    Feb 2009
    Mid-Levels, Hong Kong
    ^^ what she said.

    I don't think breastfeeding is any better or worse than formula but if you want to do it, it does take time and effort for you both to get the hang of it.

    I don't really want to give you any advice because it does sound like you are thinking about it too much, let him sleep, offer him food whether you think he should be hungry or not and a pattern will soon emerge and it will all start to make sense for both of you in time.

    FYI my son slept for 7 to 9 hours every night from about 3 days old and I never woke him to feed - some babies just sleep more than others.

  4. #4
    eneri7 is offline Registered User
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    Jan 2009

    Hang In There

    Hang in there! I know it's tough- I DREADED doing it the first month because I was tired, overwhelmed, etc. I truly understand your frustration.

    What many people don't tell you is that even if you feel your breast is empty, you MUST let the baby continue to suck on it for your breasts to respond to the needed increase as the weeks progress. If you feel you must give a bottle, I encourage you to do it ONCE you've let your baby suck on your "empty" breast for awhile, otherwise you will not produce more milk, just retaining the same supply.

    It takes a day or two for your body to catch up, but it's completely normal. That's how your body knows to produce more. I promise it doesn't last forever and you really can produce enough milk if you allow nursing on the empty breast.

    That's why bottles for many women prevent them from continuing breastfeeding because it really affects your supply.

    Do what makes you feel comfortable, but given your post, I think you really wanna stick with it-so hang in there a little longer. My best friend always told me to just focus on making it another week and then another, etc. That really helped me from being too overwhelmed by it all.

    Good Luck- you are doing really well- it's really not easy for anyone.

  5. #5
    kellyst is offline Registered User
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    Mar 2005
    Hong Kong
    yes, great advice here... just wanted to concur and say that books say it will take about 6 weeks for you to get the hang of breastfeeding, and I found that to be very true from experience. I expressed milk for months (probably made it more time consuming), but I always say it was hands down the most difficult and stressful thing i've done my whole life, but i'm still glad i did it :) we all know how stressful it can be, just know that it's all normal what you're going through and try to relax (we all know it's easier said than done)!

  6. #6
    TNT is offline Banned
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    Feb 2010
    Hong Kong
    What Nicole Joy said is spot on, the only thing I would add not covered by PP is in regards to 'whether you have enough milk'. Apart from as everyone has said it takes a good 6 weeks to establish breastfeeding and get your supply right for your baby, a great thing that a breastfeeding counsellor said to me was '"if you don't worry about your supply and think you have enough milk, you will" This was once breastfeeding was established and refers to the fact that babies go through growth spurts and will suddenly start feeding more at certain times to increase your supply. I know lots of people including myself that have been through this and it does sort itself out. Your breasts can still be giving milk even when they feel totally empty, as the babies sucking stimulates them to produce more milk.
    It is better in the first 6 weeks as others have said not to top up with formula if you can help it so that your supply does get established. Just look after yourself, make sure you are focussing on getting to know your new baby and your relationship with him.

    As NicoleJoy said, don't overthink, just assume your boy will take what he needs and feed him when he wants and it will sort itself out. If your baby is growing and has plenty of wet nappies then he is getting the right amount.

    Even though it is hard work while it is getting established and when they need more and they are suddenly feeding heaps more (like your little one is now to get your supply right for him) it does get much easier and faster to feed after the first few months and it is SO much easier than having to prepare bottles, sterilise etc esp at night and when travelling.

  7. #7
    carang's Avatar
    carang is offline Registered User
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    Sep 2004
    Sai Kung
    gataloca: i have not read what everyone else has written, so please excuse me if i'm just repeating what has already been said.

    ok. the first thing you MUST do is RELAX!

    your baby can pick up your "vibe" and if you are this stressed it is not going to help breastfeeding.

    the second thing you must do is decide for X days i am only going to breastfeed. if you continue to top up with formula, you will not increase your supply and you will keep having problems. it shouldn't take 2 hours to feed your baby. i could feed mine in less than 30 minutes, some babies do take a little longer though, but NOT 2 hours.

    i NEVER woke my kids to fee dthem. if they are hungry, they'll wake up.

    third, PLEASE call either LLL or a lactation consultant to come and assist you. i think your biggest problem right now is CONFIDENCE. you need to find some of it and you need to find it fast!

  8. #8
    lisa88 is offline Registered User
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    May 2009
    Absolutely, call up the La Leche league consultants. I called them up a few times in the months I was breastfeeding and they had encyclopaedic knowledge. I would have given up breastfeeding a lot earlier if not for their support.

    I agree with everyone that it takes quite a few weeks to get the hang of breastfeeding.

    I think that you really should not be spending 2 hours breastfeeding. 20 mins on each side was fine for me. Started off with 6 sessions per day (ie every 4 hours). I did not have a lot of milk, and my baby was very 'sucky' so I was worried she wasn't getting enough. But she had enough wet nappies and her poo was the right colour and consistency, and she was gaining weight, so I stuck to it. I had a lot of pressure from my mum and mum in law to supplement with formula coz they kept saying I didn't have enough milk. Another thing was i worried because baby was not poo-ing often, only once every few days. Once she did not poo for 6 days and I was so worried - but it was fine because breastfed babies absorb all the breast milk they take in. She was healthy and thriving so I stopped worrying after a while.

    Your milk supply will keep increasing even over the months. I went back to work after 2 months and was pumping milk. Was relieved and pleased that my milk supply continued to increase for a few months.

    Every time you feel you want to give up, just pick up the phone and call the LLL consultant. That's what I did, and I breastfed exclusively for 10 months. (Went back to work after 2 mths and pumped at work too).

    Good luck.

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